Spraying for mosquito-borne virus now includes Livingston, Washtenaw counties

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Parts of Livingston and Washtenaw counties will  be included in the state's aerial insecticide spraying to combat the spread of eastern equine encephalitis, county health officials said.

This announcement comes the day after the Department of Health and Human Services began spraying in Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties to kill the mosquitoes that carry the virus, which has killed three people in Michigan.

Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. It can be fatal and often leaves survivors with brain damage.

The recent addition to the state's spraying efforts covers a 2.5-mile radius around where an animal was confirmed to have EEE in Livingston County according to the Washtenaw County Health Department. The site includes land covering parts of Northfield and Webster townships in northern Washtenaw County as well as parts of Hamburg and Green Oak townships in southern Livingston County.

The decision to spray in Livingston and Washtenaw counties was made by the county health departments in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Washtenaw County Health Department said. A date for the spraying has not been scheduled.

On Friday, an already-deceased Hamburg Towsnhip horse tested positive for EEE, the Livingston County Health Department said. Washtenaw County hasn't had any confirmed cases of animals of humans with EEE in 2019, its health department said. Additional information and updates are available at www.Michigan.gov/EEE.

On Monday, more than 128,000 acres were treated in Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. 

Counties scheduled to be sprayed Tuesday include parts of Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Jackson, Kent, Lapeer, Montcalm and Newaygo counties will receive spraying if weather forces the state health department to avoid the areas originally slated for treatment Tuesday.

Some of the planned treatment zones from Monday were only partially completed and were moved to Tuesday's schedule.


Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter